LEADERSHIP, CLARIFIED. July 2022
We live in a noisy world. Our attention is pulled in many directions at the same time and the constant stream of alerts from our phones or smart watches aren't helping. Yes, we have the latest information at our fingertips, but what's the cost to our relationships? Consider the impact of a colleague or friend sharing something important while your focus glides from them to a screen throughout the conversation. It is likely to be an unsatisfying interaction for both of you. They will feel unheard and undervalued and you will have missed an important opportunity to connect. This is why active listening is an important leadership (and human) skill. As I work with leaders during coaching engagements, active listening is frequently a skill that we practice. Active listening requires a different mindset than other levels of listening (check out the graphic below) and the rewards are worth the effort. The Center for Creative Leadership has an active listening challenge that you could try if you want to see the difference it makes in your personal and professional relationships.